Thursday, September 09, 2010

RAOK #3 Random Acts of Kindness on the Trail

I hiked the Northville-Placid Trail, 135 miles through the Adirondack Wilderness, alone. It's a scary thing to do for anyone, and even more so for a woman alone.

Before the trip, I drove up north into the mountains and hung two bundles of food high in the trees to restock my provisions en route.

When I arrived at the first bundle, it was safe and I continued on my hike.  But when I reached the second bundle, completely out of food, the bears had gotten the bundle and had eaten every item of food except one can of tuna that had huge teeth marks in it. Needless to say, I was worried. Carrying a large pack through the wilderness with tent, sleeping bag, spare clothes and other necessities uses a lot of energy, and I got very hungry.

I ate the tuna from the dented can and continued on to the next lean-to.

As a woman hiking alone, I normally did not stay at lean-tos. Rather, I hiked back into the woods and pitched my one-man (one WOMAN) tent out of sight in the trees. However, now I needed help!  At the lean-to, I told me story and was give a little bit of food by the other through-hikers. No one had much to spare, because most people planned to carry exactly what they needed. If you carry enough food on your back for many days, along with clothes, tent and bedding, you do not want anything extra.

The next day, I was fortunate to meet a man who was very strong, and who planned well for possible emergencies. He had plenty of extra food, was kind, generous and not aggressive, and paced his hike to match mine.  He provided food for me to complete my hike all the way to Placid. I was very grateful.

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